Red Sox 4, Royals 1

Daisuke Matsuzaka had a predictably auspicious start to his MLB career today, whiffing 10 Royals and allowing just one earned run (a David DeJesus solo HR) over 7 innings (108 pitches) in Boston’s 4-1 defeat of Kansas City. Zach Greinke, making his return to the parent club after a lost 2006, was nearly as good, striking out 7 and giving up just a pair of earned runs in 7 innings. Jonathan Papelbon had a perfect 9th inning to collect his first save of the ’07 campaign, while Mike Lowell singled, doubled, and managed not to commit any errors.

The Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly
watched the Orioles drop 3 straight to the Twins and despite “the miniscule sample size,” is alarmed enough to wonder what’s in store for the ’07 Birds.

The bench, especially with the injuries to Hernandez and Payton, is terribly weak. Wright’s spring woes continued yesterday, as he walked five and allowed six runs (four earned) in 2 1/3 innings.

It’s the second time in three days the Orioles starter didn’t complete five innings. And if they can’t pitch deep into games, the improved bullpen will be gassed by June.

The defense made four errors in three games, and there were several other miscues that were ruled hits by a generous Minnesota scorer.

The offense mustered just eight total runs in the series against the reigning Cy Young Award winner and two, let’s say, less accomplished pitchers.

In Tuesday’s game, the Orioles allowed five stolen bases – four against starter Daniel Cabrera , who suddenly has trouble holding runners on.

Yes, three losses mean nothing in the context of a full season. But it’s not too early to wonder whether this is the rule and not the exception for 2007.

I’m not sure what lesson we can learn from the 2006 Mets season highlights DVD being produced by the same folks that brought us the SCTV box sets and the recent Tom Snyder New Wave compilation, but this week has given Shout Factory a head start on next year’s disc. Wednesday night,  John Maine was the latest Mets starter to baffle the Cardinals, and could life be any sweeter than seeing Carlos Beltran go deep twice — after taking a called third strike (!) against Braden Looper (double !) in the first inning?

No one ever won a pennant on April 4, but no one ever went 3-0 without winning the first three games of the season. I’m pretty sure you can look that up.

With all due respect to the Mets’ ever-popular 3rd baseman, where’s the wax replica of Jose Reyes?

After knocking in a pair today against Philly, The Elias Koteas Sports Bureau informs us that Braves C Brian McCann is on pace to drive in 324 runs this season. Who are you or I to say he won’t make it?